3 Significant Predictions For The AL West

Predictions for the 2023 baseball season are underway. Almost every team in the AL West made a significant improved their roster somehow, from adding the best pitcher in baseball to a great veteran hitter to an already deep lineup. The AL West has the makings to be an exciting division.

3 Significant Predictions For The AL West

1. The Oakland A’s will lose 100+ Games.

The Oakland A’s are in the middle of another rebuild. They have gutted their franchise of almost every key player on their roster between the last two offseasons. What’s left is a shell of a team that has no chance of competing in the division and will probably have the worst baseball record.

The PECOTA Standings from baseball prospectus has the A’s record around 97 losses. Now, these records are nothing more than things to note as we inch closer to the start of the baseball season. They give a window for a team’s performance. The 97 loses PECOTA would give them the third worst in the sport behind Washington and Kansas City, who have 100 and 99 losses, respectively.  

However, if we look more profoundly at the organization, there is some positive stuff. The A’s have young raw talents like Tyler Soderstrom, Shea Langeliers, and Zack Gelof. All guys could see some time at the Major League level this year. However, this year will likely be a year of these guys getting at-bats for a struggling team.


2. The Texas Rangers Finish Above .500

The Texas Rangers made some flashy moves over the offseason. They added three starting pitchers to their starting rotation in Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, and the best pitcher in all of baseball, Jacob deGrom. These guys joined a team that added the bats of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last in free agency. 

The Rangers have gotten some big fish to join the team over the last few seasons. The names listed above are headliners; the expectations have grown. The Rangers last year had a 68-94 record putting them 4th in the AL West. The front office is doing everything possible. 

The only central question for the Rangers is can these pitchers stay healthy over the whole season? DeGrom hasn’t finished a season healthy since 2019, and it is worth noting that when he was healthy in 2021, he threw an ERA of 1.08 in 15 starts. If DeGrom can give the Rangers 32 starts, a record over .500 is in sight.

3. Seattle Regresses and Will Miss The Playoffs

Seattle was the Cinderella team last year, led by rookie sensation Juilo Rodguez. The team finished with 90 wins, good enough for that third wild spot. Their magical season ended in the ALDS against division rival Houston who went on to win their second World Series in franchise history. 

An exciting note for the Mariners in 2022 was their pitching. All of their pitchers and FIPs were above their ERAs. Generally, this means they were getting some luck from the defense behind them. The higher difference between these numbers could be for several reasons, but usually, these numbers should be close to each other. It could mean nothing in the grand scheme or a sign that the pitching staff might return to earth.  

Speaking of regression, can Julio Rodriguez repeat his stellar rookie campaign? Rodriguez was the leader of this team last year and showed all the makings of a star in this league at 21 years old. Rodriguez was an All-Star, Rookie of the Year, and Silver Slugger winner in his rookie year.

Projecting players is incredibly difficult. They can get injured, have a slow start, fail to make adjustments, etc. I don’t expect Rodriguez to fall off a cliff offensively, but his numbers will dip slightly in his sophomore season.

Main Image: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY

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